The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton This is a multi-generational story, each a journey of self-discovery between Cassandra (2005), Nell (mid-1970’s), and Eliza (mostly early-1900’s). As Eliza starts over, Nell tracks down her family, and Cassandra pieces both Eliza and Nell’s trials together, Morton shows the loneliness and the struggles of the women. Keeping three different stories going at the same time takes a special kind of writing skill, and Morton has it. Unfortunately, she uses it a little too well. This is where the writing nagged at me the most. She takes three paragraphs to say something that could have been said in one sentence. It gets very repetitive. The author was so forceful her intention, and made some foreshadowing so pointed, that I felt like I was being walked through the book. It was as if I were being talked down to rather than told a story. I got impatient with the switching narrators, too. I felt like just as I was getting somewhere with Cassandra, it would switch to Eliza or Nell. The switching was most likely built-in to create suspense, but it was so slow-moving that it bothered me. Also—I have to say it—the InstaLove irritated me. It would not have stuck out so much if the romantic relationships had begun earlier in the story. The two “romances” took place in the final hundred pages, and I had trouble accepting both of them with the rest of the story. (That may just be my personal issue with romances in stories, though.) Overall this story just didn’t click with me. It’s still interesting, it’s just a little dense to get through.